Today is Monday. I’m working so hardly this morning .
OVER A BARREL 趴在桶上
Every human struggle-political,military, social or economic-often ends with some of the competitors"over a barrel." Once they have been put "over a barrel," there is not much more that they can do .They are in a tight spot,under the control of others ,at their mercy.Surrender is often the most advisable thing to do.
The phrase comes from a time-strangely enough-when a barrel was used to save the life of a person who had almost drowned .You brought him back to life by putting him over a barrel, with his face down ,and gently rolling the barrel to get the water out of his lungs.
Of course ,that was a critical situation to be in .The man lying flat on his stomach over a barrel could do little for himself; he was at the mercy of those trying to pull him through.
Barrels, as we all know ,come in many different sizes ,depending on what you keep in them -beer, whiskey ,dry crackers,biscuits,or other foodstuffs.
The cracker-barrelthat one always saw in old-time grocery stores gave us an American character known as a "cracker-barrel philosopher."
You used to find him in small village stores, sitting around a big pot-bellied stove close by the cracker-barrels,smoking a pipe and exchanging jokes, gossip,stories and words of wisdom with his friends.
More often than not,their words of wisdom added little to man’s knowledge or understanding of life and the world .But they thought otherwise,and never stoped offering their opinions as if they came straight from the mouth of Plato or Aristotle.
these "cracker-barrel philosophers" were as deep,as profound as a village elder described in a very old story.
It tells of the old man’s last hours among his people.He lay on his deathbed ,surrounded by his closest followers.The people of the nearby towns considered him a propht, with a new revelation, a new message from above .They could not accept his death.
The old man began to get weaker and weaker,and so did his mind ,which started to wander.The people demanded a last word from him before he departed, some last statement that might show them the way to a more fruitful,more glorious life.
At his bedside ,two men lifted the dying elder’s head,so that he could make a last declaration.He whispered slowly,"The word is like a barrel."One of the two men put his ears close to the dying elder’s mouth."What did you say ,Master?""The world is like a barrel!"Everybody was stunned.Heaven seemed to have opened.Was this God’s secret,at last?
The words quickly spread to all the nearby villages.People kept repeating the words to one another, again and again.Finally, somenoe said,"The world is like a barrel!Tremendous!But what is its mystery-what does it mean?"
Soon ,everybody was asking the same questioin.From mouth to mouth,village to village,the question was passed back to where the old man lay dying.Again ,his friends lifted his head and whispered to him:"Master,the people want to know ,what do your words mean-the world is like a barrel?"
At first ,the old man remained silent .He did not understand what was said.But then ,he slowly opened his eyes,slowly looked around ,and said ,slowly ,painfully,"So the world is not like a barrle!"